Selecting a School That’s Right For You

Selecting a School That’s Right For You

I applied to nine schools either Regular Decision or Early Action. I did not do Early Decision anywhere. I applied to public and private schools ranging from Wisconsin to New Hampshire. I told my family from the very beginning of the application process that I was not going to apply to any schools in my home state of Maine. I was incredibly indecisive in choosing which school to go to. It was the middle of April when I finally narrowed my decision down to two schools.

I visited Trinity three times during my senior year. I realized during these visits how community centered Trinity is. I found that students have a large presence on campus, and Hartford has so much to offer. I was impressed by the alumni network, small classrooms, beautiful campus, elite reputation, and challenging academics. During my visits I sat in on a class, toured the campus, interviewed, ate in Mather Dining Hall, and visited a friend. I think that for me, spending time observing how a Trinity student spends their time was integral in helping making my decision. After my visits, I was able to imagine myself as one of the students I was walking among. I truly believe that there is more than just one “right school” for everyone. However, I think it is necessary to spend time with or observing the student body to find the school that will make you most happy.

Although I don’t think I — or anyone — could have gone terribly wrong, I do think that Trinity is absolutely the best school for me. I am so happy to be a Bantam!

How to Deal with Homesickness in College

How to Deal with Homesickness in College

Every college freshmen, whether they liked to admit it or not, has dealt with some type of homesickness when making the transition into college. Of course it is all relative, for some incoming students had experience living away from home because of boarding school, so therefore the move into college wasn’t that big of a deal for them. For me personally, I was the type of person who had been going to a school with the same people from preschool until senior year of high school. I had always been a homebody and I loved everything about my small hometown, which you can imagine made it harder when it was time to enter this new chapter in my life. The thought of leaving friends, family and the safeness of home made me uneasy and nervous. Back in the fall, I knew that I was going to struggle in adjusting to the new dramatic change of independence and that homesickness was inevitable, but these strategies helped me change my perspective and grow to love the fun and freedom of college life.

First off, its really important to understand that what you are feeling and going through is totally normal, but it will get better and you will be able to overcome it. Moving to a new place can be overwhelming because you are suddenly engulfed in a completely new environment. Give yourself time to grow comfortable and accustumed to this new space by making your room a special safe haven. Being able to decorate and manage your own dorm can be really fun, so make it a warm environment that both excites and comforts you to call “home”. Another way to get over this homesick bump is to distract, distract, distract. Distracting yourself through activities, classes and time with friends is one of the best cures for homesickness. If you surround yourself with fun, positive people and involve yourself around campus, you’ll be so busy you won’t have time to be homesick. If you find yourself getting more homesick at night when you are falling asleep, try watching one of your favorite shows or movies to help get your mind off things. If you find yourself getting homesick when you are alone, then make an active effort to seek out your friends or meet new people during these times. If none of these strategies work for you and you still can’t seem to get out of your slump, consider talking with one of the many helpful resources that Trinity has around campus, like the Residential Advisors (RA’s), TRINsition Fellows or counseling center.

In the end, its important to remember that your home will always be your home but this new time and place in your life can be just as exciting too! It will take time but be patient with yourself, for it won’t take much time for you to fall in love with Trinity.

Beyond Four Years: Making Your College Choice

Beyond Four Years: Making Your College Choice

Where to spend the next four years? It’s an important question, and an enormous decision that colleges around the country ask students to make during the month of April.

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Hartford provides Trinity College students with the urban setting and career development resources to prepare them for life after college.

While I’d love to make that decision easier—and, of course, all of us in the Admissions Office are happy to help however we can—that’s not the purpose of this blog post. Instead, I want to encourage you to think about this decision as one that extends far beyond your four years on campus. Your college choice is really about charting a course through graduation into your career and the rest of your life.

So now that I’ve only raised the stakes of this already huge decision, allow me to share a bit about how we think Trinity serves students with an eye on life after college. Continue reading

Things I Learned After My First Semester

Things I Learned After My First Semester

Even though this is only my second semester here at Trinity, I can confidently say that I have learned a lot, in and out of class. For most, going to college for the first time is a major transition, so there is a lot to learn.

Lesson #1- Learn how to manage your time wisely:

My first couple weeks at school, I was amazed at all of the free time I had. I wasn’t really used to having only a couple hours of class everyday and was overwhelmed by my free time. That being said, if you feel that you have a lot of ‘free time’, realize that it is never ‘free’- take advantage of that time and get ahead on work before everything starts piling up.

Lesson #2- Befriend your professors 

One of the major perks about this school is the size. Some of my classes consisted of only ten people which may seem intimidating, but you will soon realize and appreciate how close you can get with your professors. Every professor has office hours which you should really take advantage of. Even if you don’t have a question about the class, go in and have a conversation with them about anything! They will appreciate your efforts to reach out and it will benefit you in the long run. It is also nice to know a little background about your teachers, know where they came from, why they started teaching, and they will always have tips and suggestions for you!

Lesson #3- Try new things

It is really easy to continue your old ways because that is what makes many people feel comfortable, especially when in a new environment. It is important that you branch out, do something you would never have done. Join a club, try out for a sports team (even if its just at the club level), try foods you have never tried, take a class you never thought you would take before, and most importantly- meet new people. It is important to expand your horizons and  be open-minded because you will find out a lot about yourself that you had not previously known.

Lesson #4- Find your place of relaxation

I am not going to lie, college can be very stressful and it is important to learn how to cope with that stress and anxiety. Find that little niche at the Underground Cafe where you can listen to music, find a bench on the quad where you can sit outside and enjoy the environment around you, or find that cozy spot in your room where you can take a nice nap, and relax.

Lesson #5- Have fun!

For many, college will be the best four years of their life. It is a time to explore yourself, have fun, experience new things, and of course, learn. Be social, go out, and enjoy yourself from time to time. Make the most of your four years.

Overnight Visit at Trinity

Overnight Visit at Trinity

While I was applying to colleges, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted my school to look like. I already knew that I wanted to attend a small liberal arts college in an urban area. Therefore, my search was narrowed to many schools in the northeast. For this reason, I decided to schedule overnight visits to some of my favorites. Amongst these schools, Trinity College in Hartford, CT had a program specifically tailored for prospective students, and I decided to apply.

While visiting Trinity, I immediately fell in love with the campus. Despite being in the middle of a city, Trinity contains many green areas and having a quad full of elms did not harm the image. Trinity also boasts beautiful architecture around every corner. The Long Walk has old brick buildings with artistic engravings on it. I cannot forget to mention the beautiful chapel located in the middle of campus, which many people enjoy taking photos of during winter or summer.

Unlike other overnight visits, Trinity actually made me feel welcomed. The people I met during my overnight stay were very friendly. They actually made me feel part of the community, even if they knew that I might not be coming here. Everyone I met that day made a good impression on me, and I still say hello to them when I see them going to their classes. The people made me realize that Trinity is made up of a vibrant and friendly community. In addition, the small campus size allows more interactions with people. You will meet many people in your classes, and you will be able to say hi to them around campus or at the dining hall. I knew that I wanted my college experience to be filled with people I knew, not random strangers every day.

In addition to a friendly community, I enjoyed visiting a class during my overnight stay. I could choose which classes I wanted to walk into. I decided to enter a psychology class out of curiosity, and saw that students were engaged and eloquently contributing to the discussion. The professor was friendly and willing to help. Now, as a current student I can say that by far the professors at Trinity are the best part of coming here. They are always approachable. The professors at Trinity made my experience far better compared to other schools.

Consider coming to Trinity and visiting. This is the only way that you can experience how it feels to come here. After my visit, I loved the experience so much that I decided that I wanted to experience it far more than just one day. The people are friendly. The location inside and outside of campus can only be described as perfect. Furthermore, the professors are among some of the best people you will ever meet on campus. I suggest considering Trinity as a serious option for your next four years of your academic career.

Schedule an overnight visit to Trinity herehttps://connect.trincoll.edu/portal/overnight-visit

Gateway Programs

Gateway Programs

During senior year I quickly got used to receiving up to ten promotional mailings from various colleges and universities every day. Many were generic letters, some including visually striking postcards, and a few schools even sent full-color view books. However, the college mailing that had the greatest impact on my life after graduation was a packet from Trinity with brochures for each of their Gateway programs. Each Gateway program consists of several thematically linked courses taken with a small group of passionate students in the first (and sometimes second) year. I was intrigued by the broad spectrum of these programs at Trinity and the availability of such unique learning communities within the larger liberal arts college lead me to apply to Trinity. Here’s a brief run down of each of Trinity’s Gateway Programs:

  • InterArts Program: This program is perfect for artists of all kinds, and spans two semesters. Each year culminates in a big InterArts showcase where students display their work for the entire campus.
  • Interdisciplinary Science Program (ISP): The ISP allows driven science students to begin research in their first year. The program prepares students for successful careers in the sciences.
  • Cities Program: This program involves four courses over two semesters that take advantage of Trinity’s Urban Studies department and unique location in Hartford.
  • Humanities Gateway Program: European Cultures: This three-semester program invites students to explore European culture through an interdisciplinary study of classics, philosophy, religion, history, and literature.
  • The Community Action Gateway: This two-semester program allows students to get involved in Hartford and learn about mechanisms of social change.

Each Gateway Program appeals to a unique set of students and provides a small learning community. I loved being a part of one, and think that they offer a unique start to the Trinity experience. Learn more about applying to one of them here!

Take a Trip to Trin

Take a Trip to Trin

When I was applying to colleges, I began to feel like every school was the same. I spent countless hours perusing university websites, pulling up different campuses on Google Maps, and creating a detailed spreadsheet with all the information that seemed important to me. There were so many options available to me, and I became so overwhelmed with the college application process. I found that actually visiting the campuses I had spent so much time analyzing on paper remedied this confusion.

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I remember my first visit to Trinity so well—the sun, the Long Walk, and even my first experience with Mather Dining Hall. As I walked around campus, I could see myself playing my clarinet at the Austin Arts Center or attending services in the Chapel. I knew that a liberal arts college in an urban setting was unusual, but it wasn’t until I visited that I felt the vibrant energy of Trinity’s location in Hartford. I was able to sit in on a class within my potential major and talk to Student Admissions Associates about their experiences of Trinity.

Once I visited Trinity, I grew in confidence that I had found the college for me. My campus visit helped me convert my mental knowledge of the school into a practical understanding of the college’s atmosphere and my place within a dynamic student body. If you’re currently in the middle of the college admissions process, now is a great time to plan a visit to Trinity!

 

The Waiting Game

The Waiting Game

Applying to college is probably the most stressful time in a students’ life. There is so much paper work to keep in order, essays to write and edit…and don’t even get me started on CommonApp! However, when you’ve finally hit “Submit” on that final application, that sigh of relief feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders. That moment of euphoria is so fleeting, though, when you realize that now you must wait. Playing the waiting game is so hard when the decision affects what you will do with the next four years of your life. And while yes, it’s hard not to stress out about it, I’m here to tell you not to. I repeat: Do Not Stress! Instead of anxiously waiting by the mailbox for acceptance letters, fill your time with more productive activities, for example:

  • Sit down and make a list of all the activities you are interested in participating in when you get to your new school. Like sports? Look at which intramural teams different schools offer. Interested in civil service? Check out the Student Government Associations on different campuses. There are plethora of group sports, clubs, organizations, teams, and activities on Trinity’s campus – there is literally something for everyone.
  • Keep an open line of communication with your family and friends. Lean on them when you are feeling nervous about this new part of your life – that’s what they’re there for! Talk to them about the different schools you’ve applied to and let them help you decide which is the best fit. Ultimately, the choice is up to you, but it’s always nice to have some support.
  • DO NOT check your email 24/7. (I made this mistake and it almost drove me crazy). Admission departments are tricky and some schools take longer than others to go through the admissions process.
  • Keep up with your routine. Basically, continue living your life as you normally would as if you’re not waiting for these announcements. The best thing you can do to alleviate any anxiety is simply follow your daily routine. Go to school, go to practice, do your homework, and hang out with your friends and family. Your life is about to change so quickly, so take advantage of this exciting and special time!

Trinity was the last college acceptance letter I received. It was also the only one that caused joyful tears when I opened it. I knew in that emotional moment that this was the place I needed to be. It was the best decision I have ever made. So, be patient. Waiting is so hard, but so incredibly worth it.

Interview Hack- SAAs share their FAQs

Interview Hack- SAAs share their FAQs

The interview, though not required, can be an extremely nerve-wracking part of the application process. However, think of it as your chance to show off and put your best foot forward. Some of our Student Admissions Associates (read more about them here) have shared their favorite questions to ask in an interview.

My personal favorite is “What has been the most memorable experience you’ve had in high school?” Whether it be a positive or a negative experience, this is an opportunity for students to talk about teachers or students that have had an impact on them, a class or club that has forced them to step out of their comfort zone, or something that is just really meaningful to them. I love how open-ended this question is, since I always get different responses!

Maura– “I like to ask people what their super power would be if they had you. I’ve gotten some really fun answers, and you can learn a lot about someone. For example, someone once said they wished they could be invisible so they could climb statues in public without judgement.”

Sebastian- My favorite question to ask is also the first question I ask: “Tell me about yourself.” This question gives students the opportunity to talk about themselves, which I think creates a more relaxed atmosphere. I also believe that the answer might give another talking point or generate my next question. It’s a great way to have a free-flowing interview, rather than a constant Q&A.

Griffin- “As you think about your transition from high school to college and the opportunity for growth that such a transition offers, what personal traits or characteristics do you want to make sure you hold onto?” After the interviewee responds, I then ask, “So, the other side of this question: what personal traits or characteristics do you want to change or leave behind when you transition to college?”

I leave this bifurcated question for the end of the interview, and — if I’ve done a good job building a rapport with the interviewee — it often elicits an honest examination of the interviewee’s own strengths and weaknesses. I love the question because it leads to responses that are truly telling of how self–aware and reflective an individual is, with these two traits being major assets here at Trinity.

Elise-My favorite question to ask is “If you could go back and take one class again because you loved it so much, what would it be and why?” I like this question because students get very excited to talk about a class that they have loved, and I often learn something new about the topic that the class was based on.”

Sedona- “My favorite question to ask is ‘How would you spend a snow day?’ This is a chance for students to show what they’re passionate about outside of the classroom and what they enjoy doing with their free time!”

Henry- “What is an experience you have had that changed your perspective on the world?”